Mount Holyoke College is one of 39 organizations that won a landmark lawsuit against the U.S Department of Energy for failure to follow-through on adequate environmental cleanup during its 50+ years of nuclear weapons research, testing, and production. Part of this settlement was the establishment of the MTA Fund (Citizens’ Monitoring and Technical Assessment Fund), which provided $6.25 million for tribes and non-profit organizations to assess and conduct independent technical and scientific studies regarding the multitude of technical, ecological, and health issues surrounding the nation’s nuclear weapons complex.
Clark University was chosen by the non-profit peace and environmental groups as the conservator of these reports to ensure they remain available to the public in perpetuity. The unconventional election of university as conservator is an innovative example, particularly within the era of Web 1.0, of higher education as protector and provider of information through wide dissemination.
The research and reports available in this series were conducted by Mount Holyoke College with their allocated portion of the MTA fund.
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Mixed Wastes at USDOE Cleanup Sites: Analysis and Prioritization for USDOE’s Environmental Management Program
Mount Holyoke College, Dori Digenti, and Emily Monosson
A complete review and analysis of the specific chemical and radiological constituents of mixed waste, combined health effects, and cleanup strategy at Nuclear Weapons Complex sites would be essential to creating a clear national strategy for mixed waste, but this is much too complex and large-scale an endeavor for this project. We intend that this project outline in Part I the general mixed waste issues, including regulation, inventory, and health effects data. In Parts II and III, we focus on two case studies: the Mixed Waste Landfill at Sandia National Laboratories, where contamination of soil and potential groundwater contamination have been reported; and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories Main Site and Site 300, where we address mixed waste issues in ambient (outdoor) air. Findings and conclusions are contained in Part IV, where we make recommendations on USDOE’s mixed waste management policies, identify data gaps, and prioritize new research. We hope that this report can form the basis of a much broader consideration of the USDOE mixed waste issue for the future.
This research was completed money allocated during Round 5 of the Citizens’ Monitoring and Technical Assessment Fund (MTA Fund). Clark University was named conservator of these works.
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